Hallelujah!

"Hallelujah!" cried Chum. "The giant is dead!"

"No, I'm not," said Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen.

"I say you are," said Chum.

"That's not extremely convenient for me," said the giant.

"Aye, but it's the truth."

Suddenly Gomez appeared. "Liar!" he cried. The Author smote him from the face of the story, and apologized for letting his short fiction commingle.

"Lekk," said Gork, pulling a harpsichord from behind his back. He played a modern, highly polyphonic and contrapuntal harpsichordean arrangement of Moritz Moszkowski's opus 15 number 1, "Serenata," in the key of C sharp major.

"Oh, be quiet while we work this out," said Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen. "I didn't know shapeshifters could even play the harpsichord."

"Frem," said Gork.

"So you say I'm dead," said Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen, addressing Chum once more.

" 'Tis true," Chum affirmed.

After a deadly showdown, the Author barely prevented Gomez from breaking into the story to debate the reality of truth.

"But here I am, standing before you," said the giant smugly.

"You could be undead," Chum said. Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen's demeanor fell as his carefully crafted argument was sidestepped. Then he realized a loophole that most fictional characters wouldn't be given the power to exploit.

"The Author didn't say I'm undead," said the giant.

"He didn't say you aren't undead, either," Chum retorted.

"Bilp," said Gork. Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen and Chum stopped dead and gaped.

"I hadn't thought of it that way," said Chum dumbly.

"Amazing," said Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen.

"I'm sorry we had this little argument," Chum apologized.

"No, it's my fault for existing and inciting the argument," said the giant.

"This isn't at all what I had in mind when I started writing," said the Author. So he created an alternate reality.

***

"You could be undead," Chum said. Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen's demeanor fell as his carefully crafted argument was sidestepped. Then he realized a loophole that most fictional characters wouldn't be given the power to exploit.

"The Author didn't say I'm undead," said the giant.

"He didn't say you aren't undead, either," Chum retorted.

"I was intentionally ambiguous," the Author explained. "It is up to the reader to determine. As a good Author, I leave some things to my audience's imagination."

"I think he's (alive/undead, depending on your personal views)!" you said.

"He is not!" said another reader.

"He is too!" you cried.

"How many literary irregularities can you introduce into this story?" asked Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen. "You didn't even ask how I feel about all this!" He began to weep. "I wanted to star in a serious saga, as did my ancestors in ancient days of yore."

"I'm sorry," said the Author. "I could make you immensely happy, if you'd like."

"That would be nice," said Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen, wiping a tear that had trickled down his nose. Suddenly Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen was euphoric. Not merely content, not simply joyful, but euphoric. So euphoric was he that the story could not contain his happiness. It spilled out and you became incredibly happy. Have a nice day!

END.

*For the record, in Icelandic, Björnharalðfyrirskræþenssen is pronounced BYURN-haralth-fear-ears-CRY-thens-sen, roughly. Very roughly.

Technically, the first 'th' sound (ð, eth) is pronounced as in "them." The second 'th' sound (þ, thorn) is pronounced as in "thin." The 'ö' is pronounced halfway between 'o' and 'u' but it is very difficult to do without hearing it live. If you know someone German, you can ask them about it.